Words and photos by Zachary Timm
It was a packed audience at Fridays Black Keys show, all of them waiting in anticipation for an amazing night of roots-inspired rock 'n' roll. From the moment the Heartless Bastards took the stage all the way to the last grimy blues guitar riff strummed on Dan Auerbach’s guitar, those in attendance definitely got what they came for.
[The Heartless Bastards]
Kicking things off -- and one of, if not the, most impressive performances of the night -- was the Heartless Bastards. Lead singers Erika Wennerstrom’s sorrowful howl was completely intoxicating in concert. They played a stellar 40-minute set completely made up of their excellent new album The Mountain, including stand-outs, “Out at Sea” and “Early in the Morning”. But, hands down, the best song of their set was the title track "The Mountain”. With its wailing slide guitar and Wennerstrom’s lonesome bay, it translated in the live atmosphere as a larger than life chilling rock anthem.
Lucero continued the full throttle rock attack with their blend of alternative country drenched in twangy slide guitar wrapped in a raspy whiskey-soaked growl.
[The Black Keys]
When The Black Keys took the stage the crowd erupted and the rock 'n' roll energy reached its absolute peak. Every time I see the Keys I'm consistently and completely blown away by how hard two guys can rock out. Their feedback drenched blues rock is just so amazing live, and they played a great set pulling from their extensive library. The stand out songs of the night ranged from newer tunes from last years' Attack & Release, including the chugging guitar driven tunes “I Got Mine” and “Lies", to classics from Thickfreakness. “Set You Free” and “Have Love Will Travel” were the ultimate crowd pleasers, with everyone belting out the lyrics as the Keys pummeled them with their crunchy guitar riffs.